Hottest Thing Off-Campus

This time of year can be hugely stressful for those students that perhaps haven’t sorted out there university places down to the last detail. Perhaps you are having to use clearing or didn’t manage to secure a place in the on-campus accommodation, the stress can mount up incredibly quickly.

Well worry not peeps as we’ve got you covered; thankfully we’ve still got rooms left in our student accommodation in Leicester and they are the perfect place to spend your first, second or third year. All of our halls are designed specifically with students in mind and we always lead the way in providing exactly what it is that you need.

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Last Minute Clearing? We’ve Got a Room for You!

The 13th of August is a day that plenty of future students are looking forward to with more than a little trepidation. It is of course the day that so many of you will find out just how well you did in the culmination of coursework and exams that was your A-Levels. For most it will be a day of elation as they get the news that they have been accepted into their university of choice.

For others though, a slightly lower set of grades than expected can mean that their initial choices are not available to them and that they will have to go through the process of clearing.

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Live a Privileged Life with City Block

 

Living away from home can be a daunting prospect for some people. It’s the first time mum and dad, gran and granddad, uncle and aunt, haven’t been around the corner to take care of all of your worries. It’s the first time you have to think about the food you’re buying and what you’re eating. The first time you get to clean a toilet yourself and scrub a pan (though we do provide a weekly cleaning service so you get more time to relax, study and enjoy your stay). It’s is, however, the first time you have to wash your own clothes and don’t even get us started on how to use an iron! For many people living away from home, these first steps into your adult life may be the very first time you’ve had to think about your own money and where to go to get the best deals. That’s where we come in.

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Celebrate Sugar Cookie Day!

At City Block we aren’t just a one trick pony, offering our quality student accommodation in Lancaster and Leicester, we like to keep you lucky blighters up-to-date with all the breaking international news; it just so happens that the important news of the today is… IT’S SUGAR COOKIE DAY! Come with us on a journey through time, space and snacks….

We hope you’ve picked up some important information and get on those cookie pizzas asap… if not; shut up.

If you’re looking for some great student accommodation, we are available over the summer, so book in early! Contact us on 01524 541 251 and one of our friendly team members will be eagerly awaiting your call. Now get baking!

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6 Tips for Getting a Job Straight Out of Uni

So your university life is finally over. It’s no longer acceptable to sit at 11am drinking Jägerbombs and eating cheap noodles. You’re suddenly faced with something you’ve been dreading for three years: getting a job. It’s time to hang up the fancy dress costumes and brush the dust off your best suit. Finding a job after uni may be a difficult task, but here at CityBlock we’ve got a few tips that should give a start on your career ladder.

Starting with…

cityblock1

Find Out What You Want

This might seem like an obvious point, but it’s also one of the most important. You chose an accounting degree three years ago but a lot could have changed in three years and you aren’t locked to that path forever. Before you start applying for jobs have a think about what you really want to do. It will be far easier to get a job in something you’re passionate about.

Have a Good CV

You might have had the best job experience, got the best grades in the class, and even won three gold medals at the Olympics, but if your CV is badly designed, contains mistakes, or doesn’t display information well then you’ll be put straight in the “no” pile. Spend time designing your CV well and make sure you tailor it to every job you apply for.

Take Advantage of Career Services

You know the careers services you have at uni that you’ve never been to because you think they’re boring? Well they’re actually very useful and totally free. While you’re still at uni and can access them, make sure you take advantage of these services to get some brilliant insights into the job application process.

Social Media

Social media isn’t just for posting photos of your flatmates drunk in a bush; you can actually use it to get a job. First things first though, make sure that your social media accounts are squeaky clean because 40% of recruiters will actually look through these to determine your fit for jobs. A photo of you writing on your passed out friend with a marker pen may seem really funny at the time but it doesn’t exactly say “I’ll be the best graduating lawyer in my class”.

LinkedIn and Twitter are the best platforms for finding work, with LinkedIn essentially being an online, social CV and Twitter being a place where you can join discussions about the area you want to work in.

cityblock2

Work for Free

If you’re the kind of person who “won’t even get out of bed for less than £20” then you may struggle with finding jobs. Actual job experience on your CV is invaluable and it’s far easier to get this if you’re working for free. Although you won’t be getting paid, you’ll be gaining valuable experience that will help you get paid more in the future so suck it up and go work!

Forget About That 2:2

All the way through uni, everybody is told that a 2:1 is the grade to aim for. It will open doors jobs, allow you to make more money and even give you a membership card to a super secret club that nobody know about, right?

Actually, there’s very little difference in success between students achieving either grade with similar percentages of people with either grade being employed 6 months after graduating. Most of what holds people with a 2:2 back is their own mindset. They don’t apply for jobs they think they won’t get when they’d have probably stood a good chance. The most important thing is that you got the degree in the first place!

 

If you’re still a student, or are about to do a post-graduate degree then we’ve got you covered too. Here at CityBlock we have a range of student accommodation in Lancaster and Leicester so if you need somewhere to live while you’re studying, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01524 541 251.

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5 Top Tips For Making a Home Away From Home: The Chinese Students’ Guide

Are you a Chinese student already studying in the UK? Maybe you’re thinking about choosing the UK to study in? We know that moving away from your home can be daunting and pretty scary, but we think that once you’re here, you’ll love it! Of course, we’re biased towards two of our favourite cities in the country – Lancaster and Leicester, but we know that you’ll be able to find a home away from home, whichever city or university you choose. Don’t believe us? Well, take a look at our five top tips to make yourself right at home in the UK. #1 – Be a Tourist for the Day If you want to really get to know your new city, become a tourist for a day (or two!) and see what you discover. Whether you visit the burial site of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral or the old prison at Lancaster Castle, you’re sure to find some way of getting to know your new city.

Lancaster Castle - iStock_000024595097_Medium

#2 – Join a Society One of the best parts about being a student is having the opportunity to be part of a society. Both Leicester and Lancaster University have a society for Chinese students, but why not join another society that fits in with your passions too? Whether you’re a Harry Potter fanatic or love sports, there will be something for you to get stuck into. #3 – Get to Grips with the Slang Throughout the UK, people speak with very different accents and will often use completely different dialects. This can be confusing when you first move to the UK, but getting to know a few slang words or phrases can help to make you feel right at home.

Hello - word written on a smudged blackboard

#4 – Get to Know Your Neighbours Whatever type of student accommodation in Lancaster or Leicester you choose, it’s a great idea to get to know your neighbours. Not only is it the perfect way to make new friends, but it will make you feel more at home when you know the people living just next door. Just knock on their door and introduce yourself! #5 – Surround Yourself with Familiar Things When you first move to the UK, it’s likely to be a bit of a culture shock. The language, food, culture and even the weather is different! You might find it helps to surround yourself with things that remind you of home like photographs or even just finding familiar foods to eat. Make sure you keep in contact with your friends and family at home, and try to enjoy yourself!

photos of holiday hanging on clothesline with sea

However you make your home away from home, make it in a CityBlock apartment! It’s not too late to book, and with apartments as great as ours, you’re sure to have an unforgettable year with us! Book online – it’s easy, just visit our bookings page or contact us by calling 01524 541251 to speak to a friendly face today.

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Celebrating Virality

Yesterday was Social Media Day, as you may have been aware if… you, well… use social media. As providers of quality student accommodation in Leicester and Lancaster, we understand that whilst our student dwellings may well house scholars in the pursuit of a higher education, we also know that these intense scholarly pursuits are occasionally interrupted with the briefest of spells on YouTube.

To celebrate Social Media Day we thought we’d have a look back at a selection of our favourite viral videos that have done the odd lap around the social media circuit, and tip our e-hats to some of the most famous faces on the interweb.

Grape Stomp Lady

As much a contemporary classic as Tracey Emin’s bed, Grape Stomp Lady should be shown to children in reception class as a lesson as to why cheaters never prosper. Much like every YouTube video that’s ever stolen one of your laughs, this leaves you feeling a hefty cocktail of both pity and guilt… but it’s worth it.

Can She Be That Stupid?

Ever answered a question stupidly in a pub quiz to the delight and night-long derision from your mates? Well, show them this. Not one of the more famous viral videos, but with nearly 23 million rubberneckers, it’s definitely had its fair share of sharing. Seriously though, can she be that stupid?

Buckingham Palace Guard Slips and Falls

There’s something about people in perceived authority making a bit of a fool of themselves, isn’t there? This viral vidette from earlier this year has had over 3 million views, and is made worse by the fact that he had to stand in his shame for such a long time afterwards.

Girl Scout Cookie Fail

Girl Scout Cookie Fail is another example of a video where you feel like you know better and shouldn’t find it funny… but, well… I mean, come on. That sound…

We could write an inappropriately comprehensive blog on our favourite funny videos over the years, but we have work to do and intense sun and heat to ignore and pretend isn’t happening outside. However, if you’re looking for a place to escape the heat in one of our quality student accommodations, it’s not too late to book. You can book online to stay with City Block this summer with the mere wave of a mouse click, or alternatively make an enquiry or arrange a booking on our fancy-posh website.

Happy viewing!

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The World’s Greatest Jobs

Have you started thinking about where you want to end up after you finish uni?  Take this for a bit of inspiration…. we’ve found some of the world’s greatest jobs (that do actually exist!!)

1. Paradise Island Caretaker

Paradise island caretaker

Ben Southall, 34, of Petersfield, beat out nearly 35,000 applicants from around the world for the dream assignment to swim, explore and relax on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef, while writing a blog to promote the area. He was selected for the $111,000 gig – a six-month contract to serve as caretaker of a tropical Australian island. He now has to live rent-free in a three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.

2. Luxury Bed Tester

Luxury bed tester

A student from Birmingham City University has landed her dream job…literally! Sleeping on the job and having a lie-in will no longer be a problem for a girl, who has been selected to test out luxury beds for a month and get paid for it.   Roisin Madigan, 22, is earning £1,000 to sleep in designer beds every day for a month. The student is helping with a “sleep survey” carried out by luxury bed specialists Simon Horn Ltd. The company sells luxury Savoir Beds, originally made for the Savoy Hotel. General manager Craig Roylance said Roisin will not only provide an objective view of the beds on sale, but will also be part of a look into what brings a good night’s sleep. She will spend 10am to 6pm in beds in the company’s showroom in Edgbaston, and then will blog about her experiences.

3. Resort Water slide Tester

Resort waterslide tester

Surely the envy of any desk-bound office worker, Tommy Lynch has travelled over 27,000 miles this year for his job, testing holiday resort waterslides. Mr Lynch, 29, works for holiday giant First Choice, checking the height, speed, water quantity and landing of the flumes, as well as all safety aspects. In 2008 Mr Lynch tested waterslides at holiday villages in Lanzarote, Majorca, Egypt, Turkey, Costa Del Sol, Cyprus, Algarve, Dominican Republic and Mexico. This year he will quality control First Choice’s new splash resorts in Greece, Turkey, Florida, Jamaica and Ibiza.  Liverpool-born Mr Lynch, whose job title is lifestyle product development manager, was recruited to identify the very best pools to be featured in First Choice’s new Splash Resort collection. He also ensures potential new resorts are up to the company’s standard.

5. Wine Tester & Blogger

Wine tester and blogger

Imagine moving to the heart of Sonoma County, where every day you’ll come home to more than 450 wineries along the beautiful northern coast of California. Picture living rent free, learning the intricacies of making the perfect wine, and capturing and sharing the entire experience for your network of Twitter followers. Now imagine getting paid $10,000 a month to do it. Hardy Wallace of Atlanta, the first person to submit his application, was the winner for the position at Murphy-Goode Winery— a $10,000 p/mo for six months, rent-free job updating Twitter and Facebook with his winery lifestream.

6. Candy Taster

Candy taster

Another one of the world’s best job has gone to schoolboy Harry Willsher, 12, chief taster in a sweet factory. Harry’s job is to test top secret recipes. He got the job after winning a contest at Swizzell’s Matlow to find a recruit. According to him, after his first tour at his new job, he felt like having stepped into the book Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. He wowed judges by describing the flavor and smell of his favourite sweet, the Drumstick lolly. The Derby firm, which also makes Love Hearts, Rainbow Drops and Parma Violets, has now given the youngster chief taster overalls and business cards. As well as sampling the sweets, he will also monitor their development at the company’s factory in New Mills, Derbyshire.

7.  Director of Fun (aged 6)

Director of Fun at a museum (age 6)

A six-year-old boy who wanted to become the director of York’s National Railway Museum landed himself a job – as the director of fun. The ambitious youngster got a role at the National Railway Museum after applying to replace retiring boss Andrew Scott. Sam Pointon sent a handwritten letter headed “Application for director” asking for an interview at the centre, in York. The letter listed his credentials for the role, including his expertise on his train set. “I am only six but I think I can do this job,” wrote Sam. Staff were so impressed they appointed Sam an honorary “Director of Fun” and his job will be to bosses how he thinks they can ensure the museum is the most fun place for kids to spend a day out.

8.  Bike Rider Photographer for Google Maps

Bike rider-photographer for Google Maps
Bike rider-photographer for Google Maps

Google  has hired two lucky young men to ride around France on dopey looking tricycles snapping up photos of historical sites that are inaccessible by car. This three-wheeler is a sight with its long pole holding nine cameras, a GPS, a computer and a generator. But the contraption tooling around the French capital needs all that gear to do its job – adding three-dimensional images to Google’s Street View Maps. The riders, wearing Google tee-shirts and white helmets, are visiting well-known sites such as the Chateau de Versailles, west of Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg on the city’s Left Bank or Les Halles, in the busy centre of the French capital whilst getting paid to do so!

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‘Spice’ Sends Students to Hospital: Know the Risks

As providers of high quality student housing in Lancaster, we consider it a top priority to look after the students who come to us in every way we can – and that includes keeping you aware of the potential threats and dangers that you might face.

Today we’ve heard the unfortunate story of five Lancaster University students who had to be taken to hospital yesterday evening, after ingesting a synthetic drug known as ‘spice’. Designed to mimic the effects of cannabis, Spice is often described as a legal high, however many of the chemicals found within the herbal mix are actually class B drugs which can have a very damaging impact on those who use them. Although three of the students admitted to hospital last night have now been discharged, two remain in a critical condition, and our thoughts are with them.

Stay Knowledgeable

Doctor holding heart

Although University is a fantastic time for new experiences, it’s important to stay safe so that you can really make the most of Uni life. There are certain risks associated with taking drugs like spice, and the fact that very little is known about the specific chemicals used and how individual users will react to them makes it especially dangerous to experiment with these types of substances.

If you’re worried that you, or a friend, might be at risk then there are certain signs and symptoms that you can be on the lookout for. Hallucinations, sickness and nausea, increased heart rate and paranoia are all side effects associated with smoking spice. Lancaster University is urging anybody who could be at risk to check in with friends and, if necessary, call 999 for emergency medical support. Being at Uni means being part of a community of students who should have each other’s backs, so you can take an important step to staying safe just by making sure that you look out for your friends.

Stay Safe

Group of people enjoying a concert

Lancaster is a fantastic and vibrant city for students, and we’re encouraged by how rarely this type of problem occurs! The easiest way to stay safe while you’re partying and unwinding from class is simply to make sure that you have all the facts before taking any sort of risks with your health.

At City Block, we’re proud of our commitment to looking out for students and helping you to get excited about your time at University. If you’re in need of student housing then we’d love to hear from you – get in touch with our team at 01524 541251 and we’ll be happy to help.

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Make Your Voice Heard: General Election 2015

Now, we know that you’re all knuckling down studying hard at the moment, unless you got distracted by our last post, but you’ll probably have noticed the abundance of politician’s faces plastered across your TV, all over Facebook and even pasted on billboards.

It can only mean one thing – it’s time to put an ‘X’ in a box and vote for the future of Britain.

UK Vote 2015 Title and Rosettes angled

But Why Should You Vote?

You’ve probably heard the age-old excuse of ‘my vote won’t make a difference’. But did you know that in the 2010 elections, 15.9 million didn’t bother voting – that’s a whole lot of silent voices.

Vote because you can. There are millions of people across the world who don’t have that right, plus, if you’re a woman, it’s worth remembering that not so long ago, you wouldn’t have been able to have your say.

(This is from the last election – this year’s voting date is Thursday 7th May)

How Do I Vote?

You can vote in person by popping down to your local polling station. If you’ve registered to vote, you should have your polling card by now which will tell you where to go. It’s as simple as putting a cross in the box for the party you want to vote for. Polling stations will open at 7am and close at 10pm, so you should have plenty of time to have your say!

You can also vote by post, but these should have been posted with enough time to reach the electoral office by 10pm on 7th May.

Your other option is a vote by proxy which means that someone else delivers your vote for you. You should already be registered for this, but you can apply for an emergency proxy vote if you suddenly fall ill before Election Day.

Businessman hand putting voting paper in the ballot box, Voting

Who Should I Vote For?

Now this part is entirely up to you. You get to make that choice, so take a few minutes to read a little bit about each party’s manifesto and decide what’s most important to you.

If you can’t decide who to vote for, you could always take a quiz to work out who you agree most with. Try a quick and simple quiz, or if you want more detailed answers, try the Telegraph quiz.

Whoever you decide to vote for on Thursday 7th May, make sure you do it so you can get the student voice heard. In the meantime, when it comes to student houses in Lancaster and Leicester, City Block gets the vote! If you’re looking for a room, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team by giving us a call on 01524 541251 today!

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